Reading West station design 'looks like shipping container'

Image source, Reading Borough Council
Image caption,
Reading Borough Council said work could start in March if the plans are approved

The design for a building proposed as part of a £3.3m railway station revamp has been described by some residents as "ugly" and compared to "leaving a shipping container on the pavement".

A planning application for the building at Reading West includes new ticket gates, toilets and a cafe.

However, some observers have criticised its looks and questioned how accessible it will be for disabled passengers.

Great Western Railway (GWR) said the new building would improve the station.

Image source, Reading Borough Council
Image caption,
Great Western Railway (GWR) said the new building would help the local economy

The proposals will be considered in the coming months by Reading Borough Council, which has previously said the station was in need of "a major facelift".

Much of the feedback about the plans gathered by the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) was critical.

Community group West Reading Together said: "This is shockingly bad. Not accessible, no pavement, and so cheap and ugly."

Councillor Sarah Hacker, who represents the town's Battle ward, said the lack of lifts was "deeply frustrating" and space should be included for them once the necessary funds become available.

Others suggested it looked like a temporary building and would not be in keeping with the character of the area.

Jon Stone, a journalist at The Independent, said: "So the plan is just to leave a shipping container on the pavement?"

Image source, Google
Image caption,
Reading West railway station was in need of a "major facelift", the council's transport lead said

The planning application said the building's shape had been designed to reduce the potential for loitering, would contain wide aisles for access and was fully compliant with building regulations and the Equality Act.

GWR said: "These changes will not only improve the station for our customers, they will support the local and regional economy once it starts to recover, and will mean a cleaner, greener environment from better transport integration."

If approved, work will start in March 2021 and take a year to complete.

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